Primary adrenal insufficiency is what is known as Addison’s disease and occurs when the adrenal glands are damaged by some type of trauma and can’t produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. The much more common type of adrenal insufficiency is known as secondary adrenal insufficiency and occurs when the pituitary gland stops producing adenocorticotropin (ACTH). ACTH is what stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, so it stops this process from moving along. (39)
Depending on his or her preference, your doctor may order a saliva, blood or urine test to measure your cortisol. These days it is generally accepted that saliva cortisol testing is the most accurate, as it gives a better estimate of the cortisol levels within your cells, where the hormone reactions are actually taking place. Remember that it is important to be well-hydrated before you do your saliva test – dehydration can skew the results.
Abnormal adrenaline and cortisol levels can result in mood disorders, sleep disturbances, reduced resistance to disease, and changes in vital circulation. Because these side effects are not uncomfortable enough to be intolerable, a self-destructive, adrenal-depleting lifestyle often continues. DHEA, which helps the body recover from this sort of chronic abuse, gets revved up full time instead of only episodically.
This is a very informative book with information on everything from symptoms to how to find relief and better health. Unlike other "health" books I've read, this one gives very complete information. An example is that many books will suggest you add or take away certain types of foods from your diet. This one gives lists of not just a category of foods - but the actual food items themselves AND tell you the best ways to prepare them.
I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency by a progressive doctor. She meant well, but she missed the boat completely. For some people, the adrenal-busting cycle is caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea. A healthy lifestyle alone (or supplements or other treatments that only target adrenals) can’t fix the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysruption caused by sleep apnea, and many of the systems will overlap. Nocturnal breathing pauses cause a stress response, elevating cortisol, increasing exhaustion, sabotaging sleep quality and all of the regenerative work our bodies are meant to do during sleep. For women, sleep apnea is likely to go undiagnosed, because doctors think it is so rare in women that they don’t usually consider it as a differential diagnosis (even in women with PCOS, who are known to have the same rate of sleep apnea as men). For young and slender women, sleep apnea is unlikely to be diagnosed until it has already caused long-standing biological changes, even if a woman has classic symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring, observed pauses in sleep breathing, and significant daytime sleepiness. Sleep dysruption is a form of chronic stress, so it can overlap with adrenal insufficiency, and treating sleep problems can be a big help to solving the adrenal problems.
Under certain circumstances, stress can fatigue your adrenals. It is estimated that most North Americans experience some form of stress-related adrenal fatigue at some time. Although many people realize that stress is a problem in their lives, few understand the actual physical ways stress acts on the body and mind through the adrenal glands – or more importantly, what to do about it. Unfortunately, even most doctors still do not recognize the common health picture produced by adrenal fatigue. This leaves a lot of people suffering without anywhere to turn for help. Thats where Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome comes in.

I’m hoping maybe you can unconfuse me. I recently had an adrenal stress index done as well as a full thyroid panel because I’ve experienced all the symptoms you’ve mentioned above and more (headaches, inability to lose baby weight despite trying, etc). I’ve even taken the questionnaire you linked ( and a few others) and they all come back indicating some amount of adrenal fatigue.


Just to add to my comment above. After taking Siberian Ginseng for about 8 weeks, I had a break for 2 weeks and started back on it again. Yes, taking it in the afternoon has left me with insomnia for a couple of nights and also an upset/colicky stomach so this is quite powerful stuff. I’m sure it’s brought on my next period a couple of days early too.

Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia is a pseudoscientific diagnosis believed in alternative medicine to be the state when adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily the glucocorticoid cortisol, due to chronic stress or infections.[1] Adrenal fatigue should not be confused with a number of actual forms of adrenal dysfunction such as adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease.[2]
Methylation labs: Methylation is a collection of biochemical actions in the body that happen 1 billion times every second. Healthy methylation helps to maintain a healthy brain, gut, hormones, and detox pathways, and also protects your DNA. However, some of us have genetic mutations that impair the methylation process. I have multiple methylation gene mutations, one of which is the MTHFR gene mutation, making me less able to absorb certain essential vitamins. This was useful information because I was then better able to supplement to make up for my nutritional deficiencies.
Blood or salivary testing is sometimes offered but there is no evidence that adrenal fatigue exists or can be tested for.[1][3] The concept of adrenal fatigue has given rise to an industry of dietary supplements marketed to treat this condition. These supplements are largely unregulated in the U.S., are ineffective, and in some cases may be dangerous.[3]
Anyway, I’ve been eating a vegan diet lately (McDougall/Esselstyn style) as there is heart disease and diabetes in my family, but seem to be be gaining weight on it, even though my calories aren’t that high. I am desperate to lose weight – I gained about 50 pounds with this adrenal thing!! I’ve tried everything and every diet out there. I found low carb dieting very difficult as my energy plummeted. I’m so confused as to what diet to follow. Any diet suggestions would be immensely appreciated!
The effectiveness of this multi-system treatment was further confirmed through the analysis of the cumulative findings of over 40 independent physicians and over 5,000 patients. Prior to the treatment at the Holtorf Medical Group, the patients had seen an average of 7.2 different physicians for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia without significant improvement.
As the manufacturer of adrenaline, they are the “glands of stress,” but are also the first glands to fail during prolonged or intense periods of stress. The problem with stressors is that they are “cumulative,” in the sense that their impact tends to add up in the body over time until your adrenal glands just can’t take anymore. Adrenal “fatigue” or dysfunction used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as exposure to environmental toxins and allergens.

The nervous system is also a delicate balance- where we need to keep the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system in check with our parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. If we live life as a constant race filled speeding through daily activities, functions and appointments then we are putting our entire health and body systems at risk. Stress can create damage to our internal health- not just a headache! We can improve our response to stressful situations as well as reduce the stress triggers in our life. Often we need more time spent in the “rest and digest” nervous systems and less time in the “fight or flight” nervous system. More is not better!

Diagnosis is an important part of the book as well. Because Wilson recognizes that most doctors know little about this syndrome, he provides everything that any fatigue sufferer needs to self-diagnose: a detailed questionnaire to help gauge the level of fatigue and potential causes, advice on the best tests to perform – both at home and in a laboratory setting, a health history timeline that can help you to pinpoint the various stressors that have led to your current condition, and many chapters meticulously detailing his best treatment advice for nursing yourself back to health. An entire section is also devoted to explaining what the patient can expect as he or she slowly recovers from this ailment.
The Adrenal Fatigue Solution contains everything you need to start treating your Adrenal Fatigue. We have included lots of information on the lifestyle changes that you should be making, along with complete lists of the vitamins, minerals and supplements that you should be discussing with your doctor. The eBook is written in simple, easy-to-understand terms, and is the perfect starting point for your treatment.
Numerous websites mention how to diagnose and treat adrenal fatigue. However, the Endocrinology Society and all the other medical specialties do not recognize this condition. The Endocrinologists are categorical: “no scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition.” This disconnect between conventional and complementary medicine adds to the frustration.
After read this book I found that you could probably are dealing with the adrenal fatigue symptoms and you may not knowing, been tired, living with stress or having anxiety could be by this reason, here you can find the root cause and ways to test if you are dealing this this fatigue syndrome, one of the principal rules is to change your diet where you can find many solutions here.
The key message to understand here is that when your body is stressed out and the stress does not go away and it’s not taken over by your relaxation response, then your body is in fight/flight mode and you’ll start to see all of your organs slowly shut down and you’ll experience awful symptoms. I’m talking about your digestion, your immune system and your reproductive organs (I had lots my period for years because of this and the Lyme). Everything is connected folks. That’s key to understanding your body!

Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue from a single test or symptom is very difficult. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors and naturopaths need to look at a range of tests, sometimes conducted multiple times, and take note of every symptom. This requires experience and a thorough knowledge of the various systems in your body, as well as some patience too. It may require two or three visits to the doctor before you can be sure that you have Adrenal Fatigue.
This is a doctor who specializes in both Western and Eastern medicine and thus combines a holistic approach with potential medications. I believe that this type of physician is best equipped to handle adrenal fatigue. You can also consider a functional medicine physician, which is a doctor trained to look at the body as a whole with an emphasis on searching for the underlying cause of your health deterioration rather than the symptoms.
We have talked so much today about the importance of understanding the state of your adrenals. This is going to inform so much of your health, and is going to keep you away from potentially dangerous adrenal medications – for those who do not need them. Take great care of yourself, and check in on the state of your adrenals by taking the adrenal quiz today.

Low energy and tiredness are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a doctor. Despite being so common, it is often challenging to come up with a diagnosis, as many medical problems can cause fatigue. Doctors engage in detective work, obtaining a medical history, doing a physical exam, and doing blood tests. The results often yield no explanations. It can be frustrating for clinicians and patients when a clear-cut diagnosis remains elusive. An attractive theory, called adrenal fatigue, links stress exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible cause of this lack of energy.
Do you have Adrenal Fatigue? A few changes in your diet and lifestyle can go a long way to getting your energy levels back. You can also use some natural supplements to give your body the support it needs to recover. Dr Eric Wood and I teamed up to write The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, which contains a comprehensive plan to recover from Adrenal Fatigue.
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